Saturday, January 25, 2020
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:07

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney

Written by Heather Vogel, SPHR

In the first message I wrote for this magazine in 2012, I quoted John B. Priestley who said, “I’ve always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” In the months since, I have had incredible opportunities to see just how our volunteer leaders across the state of Florida are bringing those words to life.

One of my goals this year is to continue my journey around the state to visit as many of our twenty-eight SHRM chapters as possible. Last year I was privileged to visit sixteen of our chapters, from Big Bend SHRM to Greater Miami SHRM, meeting and working with close to 1,000 of our more than 15,000 Florida SHRM members and HR professionals. Well, I’ve only 14,000 to go and I’m looking forward to the challenge of meeting and greeting all of you!

Like Walt Disney, HR Florida has the courage to pursue its dreams—with a little bit of magic along the way.

Our initiative remains the same: to be the catalyst for shaping educated and engaged HR professionals who have an influence on our field and the organizations we serve. Here’s what we’ve achieved so far:

• Presented another record-breaking State Leadership Conference with 100% chapter participation and over 268 volunteer leaders learning and sharing best practices. Many thanks to our president-elect Joyce Chastain and our team of District Directors for making this happen. They are the epitome of the volunteer leader.

• Held our second annual Tallahassee Day on the Hill to lobby for change in HR-related public policy. Over eighteen of our twenty- eight state chapters participated in this event, focusing on key legislation regarding eVerify and applicant background checks. Many of the forty-plus attendees visited personally with their state representatives.

• Participated in the SHRM Southeastern Region Student Games. Yes, HR Florida sent a student team to Clemson University this year, led by stalwart South Brevard SHRM president and past HR Florida college relations’ director Jim Gallo. Though we didn’t win, our team still knocked it out of the park. Thanks Jim for helping HR Florida focus on the future of our profession!

• Donated over $2,900 to the SHRM Foundation to support HR research and education; a 32% increase over this time last year.

• Implemented a strategic initiative and chapter contest to boost Chapter Membership.If you want to know more, please get in touch at

And of course, you’ve seen some of the changes we’ve made to our various publications, including the HR Florida Review in print and online and in our social media venues. Let us know what you think on Twitter, #HRFL or on our blog,

Being an HR professional means we are the true core of any organization. We run our businesses through our expertise on talent. We make differences in employee lives, both professional and personal. We create magic every day. It’s the same in our volunteer organization; the critical element is our strength. But we can’t do it alone. Help us make some magic by joining a great group of people doing great things!

Since this issue is focusing on development, I personally want to invite you to engage in advancing your professional development with your HR fellows at our 34th annual HR Florida State Conference & Exposition. Once again we’ve collected the best and the brightest of HR pros from across the nation to share the latest and greatest in what’s happening in our field. This is our last year at the Orlando Rosen Shingle Creek—you won’t want to miss the outstanding speakers and very special events we have planned. The dates are August 27-29, 2012. Be sure to check out the conference details in this issue and register at

See you around the state!

Heather E. Vogel, SPHR
2011-2012 President HR Florida State Council, Inc.